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Review of IGNIS at The Print Room Notting Hill

Ignis at The Print RoomEntering a sparse space with a beautifully glossy floor and matted mirrors designed by Lee Newby, four wooden boxes sat neatly in a row, this cool and controlled piece begins, nuanced with carefully selected words by Sara Kestelman, we see her overlooking her past through movement of three wonderfully narrative dancers, Noora Kela, Jordi Calpe Serrats and Lukasz Przytarski.

Choreographed by Hubert Essakow, IGNIS marks the second part of a trio of choreographical responses to the essential elements. IGNIS, a response to fire, the nature of it being mirrored in the experience of love tells a story of love lost, love anew and jealousy. The piece itself heats up throughout the performance intensifying to a flame and eventually dying out and returning to the coolness of the beginning.

The relationship between Sara Kestelman and the two male dancers was particularly exciting to see, there was a delicacy and sensual relationship between their movement and hers, a physical connection that is rare among narrated dance pieces. The accompanying soundtrack by Jon Opstad was atmospheric and filled with metallic and electronic notes, just as sparse as it’s environment, the whole piece gave a sense of a non-space, thoughts in her mind transported into physical space.

Interestingly, the flame itself was probably unnecessary, the message itself conveyed clearly enough beforehand it felt like a remnant of the production’s initial process. A story told through dance, Przytarski and Kela’s interactions were particularly electrifying.

This work is effectively bought together by the subtly warm lighting of Matthew Eagland, it felt like sitting by a campfire on a cool night. Although, maybe not a standout piece, I felt transported into this world. This is a wonderfully rare chance to see a new piece of choreography performed incredibly well and at such a polished standard. The venue itself was a living and breathing part in this work and they felt incredibly mutually reliable. A lot of love and care has been put into this piece and it’s paid off.

So catch this piece for a night of subtle sensuality and an introduction to a choreographer who is set to go far, I’ll definitely be back to see what Essakow develops for part three.

Review by Isabella Van Braeckel

Photograph by Zadoc Nara Serrats, Kestelman and Przytarski in Essakow’s IGNIS


IGNIS, the second work in Hubert’s trilogy of dance theatre pieces exploring the essential elements, is inspired by the powerful and potent qualities of fire.  A lyrical, philosophical follow-up to Hubert’s enormously successful Flow which ran at the Print Room in February 2013 to capacity audiences and critical acclaim,  IGNIS features a stand-out cast including the renowned British actress Sara Kestelman and dancers Noora Kela, Lukasz Przytarski, and  Jordi Calpe Serrats.

The production opens on February 11th and will run for two and a half weeks until March 1st.  The original score is by London-based film and TV composer, Jon Opstad (Black Mirror, Silent Witness) and set and costume design is by Lee Newby (Bring Up The Bodies, Privates on Parade).

Choreographer Hubert Essakow:  “It’s very exciting to be presenting another dance piece at this unique and intimate dance space.  I love working at The Print Room as the environment allows for a totally difference experience from anything else on the dance scene in London.  It gives audiences and performers the chance to participate in something genuinely immersive.  With a strong cast and wonderful music and text, IGNIS hopes to be a dance theatre performance that engages the mesmerising nature of fire.”

IGNIS by Hubert Essakow
Sara Kestelma: Olivier Award winning British actress has performed on most of the UK’s big theatre stages throughout her distinguished career including the National Theatre, the RSC, Donmar, Barbican, Old Vic, Gielgud, Theatre Royal Haymarket, Wyndham’s and many more.

Noora Kela:
has worked extensively with Henri Oguike Dance Company as performer and teacher, with Cie13 in Belgium, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and many choreographers including Jonathan Lunn, Nuno Silva, Tanja Raman, and Nigel Steward.

Jordi Calpe Serrats has performed in many dance and opera productions including Opera Holland Park, Resolution at the Place, with Drew McOnie Dance Theatre, Arthur Pita, with Richard Alston Dance Company and, most recently, Mark Bruce Company’s production of Dracula.

Lukasz Przytarski graduated from Rambert School in 2011 and has since worked with choreographers such as Mark Baldwin, Kerry Nicholls, and Rei Hanashima; he’s performed at the Royal Opera House, Warsaw National Theatre, and Baltic Opera House in Gdansk.

Ignis at The Print Room
8th February – 1st March 2014

Saturday 15th February 2014


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